June 6, 2017 by Logan Albright
The Supreme Court stood up for private property rights in a surprise ruling against a major tech company Tuesday. The issue in dispute was to what extent patent holders are allowed to dictate the terms under which their products are used, even after a sale has taken place. Lexmark, the printer supply company, was claiming patent infringement because a third-party company, Impression, was offering to refill old printer cartridges for customers by disabling the part of the technology that prevents such refills. The court ruled that Lexmark could not continue to exercise control over its products after selling them to customers.
This may seem like a niche industry fight, but in fact it has wide-reaching implications for consumers. …
June 2, 2017 by Logan Albright
In the continuing debate over the American health care system, a lot of ink has been spilled in the discussion of what constitutes a human right. On the political Left, it is common to hear claims that health care is a right, that no one should have to die because they can’t afford care. It sounds compassionate; it sounds humane. After all, what kind of a person would wish death on poor people?
Conservatives usually answer these claims with arcane and academic discussions of natural rights philosophy, appeals to John Locke and John Stuart Mill, and similarly unpersuasive tactics. Is it any wonder that we continue to inch closer to complete government control of medicine, given the imbalanced nature of the argument? …
June 1, 2017 by Logan Albright
Over the last few years, we’ve witnessed an intermediate push for more early-childhood education. The Obama administration returned to the idea of universal preschool on multiple occasions, and the idea featured in Hillary Clinton’s campaign as well.
While Donald Trump remains relatively uninterested in education policy, academic circles are picking up the slack with renewed claims that we should be shoving toddlers into a formal education system almost as soon as they can talk.
A new study claims that more rigorous preschool curricula — focused on formal concepts like math, reading and geometry, and less on free play — can help children become more “kindergarten ready,” with the assumption being that this is somehow a good thing. …
June 1, 2017 by Logan Albright
As I sit here waiting for my new guitar to arrive from Canada (an Eastwood replica of the Teisco TG-64), delayed by four to six weeks due to import restrictions on rosewood, it’s hard not to wonder at the sheer illogic of many of America’s trade laws. It’s not that they don’t sound reasonable on paper, but in practice, trade barriers present a nightmare of bureaucracy that harms consumers and businesses alike, while doing very little to actually accomplish their stated goals.
The rules in question fall under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), a lengthy treaty designed to protect certain plant and animal products that may be in danger of destruction. …
May 30, 2017 by Matt Kibbe
Liberty, the freedom to innovate and cooperate, is what allows people to work together and build strong communities. Liberty is what makes society work.
Don't hurt people, and don't take their stuff. It's that simple.Check out Free the People's video for #FEEcon's Think Freely Video Contest. FEE Think Freely Media
Posted by Free the People on Monday, May 22, 2017
May 30, 2017 by Logan Albright
Most adults probably have little idea what goes on in a public school on a daily basis, but if they did, they probably wouldn’t be too happy with how their children are treated. Following a series of reports on how school cafeterias treat children who cannot afford to pay for meals, Congress has introduced legislation to address the problem.
The Anti-Lunch Shaming Act aims to prevent cafeteria workers from publicly humiliating children who can’t afford to pay for meals. The bill came about because in some cases, workers were filling trays with food and making a show of throwing them in the garbage, or publicly labeling kids as owing money to the school for food. …
May 28, 2017 by Logan Albright
With the GOP proving itself entirely unwilling to repeal Obamacare in a meaningful way, and the country inching ever closer to health care Armageddon, it’s going to be increasingly important for patients to find ways to get around the Byzantine insurance regulations and to take control of their health into their own hands.
Fortunately, technological entrepreneurship is poised to dramatically decentralize the knowledge and power of the medical profession.
The wild and wooly landscape of mobile apps is beginning to offer a vast array of medical services from the comfort of your smartphone. The inane Apple slogan, “There’s an app for that,” becomes progressively more true with each passing day. …
May 22, 2017 by Logan Albright
“Do you support Trump?”
That was the subject line of a survey I received by email the other day. More than the subject line, it was the entire survey. Do you support Trump, yes or no?
I sat staring at the email for a few minutes, wondering what in the world such a question even means. Support him in what? In what way? Is any action on my part necessary to qualify as “support,” or is it purely a state of mind?
Maybe I’m overthinking it. Obviously the question refers to Trump’s policies, his administrative goals. A reasonable person should be able to say whether he supports those, right? …
May 20, 2017 by Logan Albright
You guys, it’s finally happening. “Twin Peaks,” the cult TV murder mystery from the ‘90s, is coming back to finish what was started 25 years ago.
I frequently write about disruptive technology — innovations that not only change the way we do things, but the way we think about the world as a whole. Innovation need not take place in the world of technology, however; there are just as many artists and entertainers doing things to challenge our preconceptions and make us rethink the boundaries of a particular medium.
“Twin Peaks” is an example of a show whose cultural impact far exceeded its meager two seasons worth of content. …